We have reached the final hours of the transfer window and things are heating up as they normally do. Borussia Dortmund has been involved in a swirl of rumors today, involving right-back Thomas Meunier, and center-back Manuel Akanji.
Meunier seems to have his heart set on a move to the Nou Camp, a rumor which has steadily gained traction since the beginning of August.
Meunier ya le ha comunicado al Borussia Dortmund que quiere salir para cumplir su sueño de jugar en el FC Barcelona— Mundo Deportivo (@mundodeportivo) August 30, 2022
✈️ Las condiciones de su contrato estarían ya apalabras y su viaje sería inmediato para pasar el reconocimiento médico
✍️ @gbsans https://t.co/yeRHpA7e1v
I am not sure how reliable Mundo Deportivo is, but the team over at BVBNewsblog gave this one an “almost full moon”, and I trust their judgment. Losing Meunier at this stage of the window would be a huge blow for BVB who do not have a replacement lined up in the team or the market. Mateu Morey is still working his way back to fitness, and Marius Wolf has not been especially convincing in his performances. It is a bit sad to see the Belgian eager to move to Barcelona as he once said his move to Dortmund was something he had always dreamed of, but Meunier quashed this rumor on his own once before, he may just do it again.
The move for Manuel Akanji has gained steam more quickly. Sebastian Kehl stated over the weekend that he expected something to come for Akanji in the final hours and it seems he knew something the media did not. The Athletic reports that Akanji is closing in on a move to Manchester City, where he would join the ranks of Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, and John Stones.
#BVB - Manuel Akanji on verge joining Manchester City, as reported first by @David_Ornstein. Contract until 2027, €11m salary per year, sources telling @SPORT1. Clubs close to reach total agreement. Fee: €18m. The Swiss defender is still in Dortmund set to fly to UK soon. ⚫️— Patrick Berger (@berger_pj) August 30, 2022
Pep Guardiola must be fearing an injury crisis, with Laporte and Ake both out, because the move for Akanji seems to crowd an already well-manned position.
Akanji rejected a lucrative contract offer at Dortmund to pursue a new opportunity, with his preferred destination being the red side of Manchester. It was crickets from the Red Devils all summer, however, with a move for Lisandro Martinez prioritized. Maybe Akanji wants to play for the rival of his dream team to show them what they missed out on. More likely, however, is that he finally was courted by a team playing UCL football that does not care about salaries. Either way, there is nothing standing in the way of the move if the interest is genuine.
Dortmund needs the money from the Akanji sale fast if Meunier is set to depart. Any replacement right-back will be costly at this point in the window, but Sebastian Kehl and Edin Terzic likely know that the current staff will not cut it.
Who should replace Meunier at Dortmund if he heads to Spain? Let us know in the comments.